Trying to put a value on Volunteers is hard, almost impossible, but there are good reasons for measuring some of your volunteering outcomes:
Volunteers are Precious
Understanding and measuring the performance outcomes of volunteers shows that you care. Volunteer managers are ethically bound to understand their resource and use it as effectively as possible, and in order to do that, you must be able to show that what they are doing meets a need and they are being utilised as efficiently as possible.
Is it Working?
If you are not measuring performance, how will you know if your new strategy is paying off? How will you ensure your activities are meeting the brief, and that your mission is on track? If it’s not working, you can get a much better idea of why if you are measuring the different variables involved.
Create a Buzz
Often there is some resistance to ‘measuring’ how well volunteers are performing – some liken it to only caring about numbers – but there is also a more positive impact. Once you get your volunteers to buy in to the reasons behind performance management, you will find they get well and truly on board. If volunteers feel like their comments and suggestions are being listened to and their good work is making a difference, you will find engagement measures increase too.
Increasingly organisations are required to include volunteer evaluations and impact reports in funding applications and reviews. Instead of viewing this as another set of forms to fill out (we know!) try considering how valuable that information can be to the whole group and using the data wherever possible.
Rosie is the General Manager at Exult and works behind the scenes planning, organising and making everything run smoothly. She is passionate about working in the community sector.
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